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Event at UN Forum on Business and Human Rights – Promoting inclusion and countering anti-migrant narratives: Leveraging the role of business, 27 November 2017

OHCHR and migration

During the 2017 United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and Stop Funding Hate hosted a session on Promoting inclusion and countering anti-migrant narratives: Leveraging the role of business. Speakers from Ben and Jerry’s, IKEA, Oxfam and Stop Funding Hate engaged the audience in a discussion around what role business can play in challenging anti-migrant narratives and how they can contribute to promoting inclusion.

The discussion was broadcasted live on UN Web TV and is available at the following link.For more information, please see the concept note of the event.

The following key messages were drawn from the discussion:

  • In today’s world of polarised views and xenophobic discourse, it is important to find ways to change the narrative on migrants and migration from one based on prejudice, fear, and misperceptions, to a positive narrative based on evidence, on our shared values of human rights, diversity, solidarity, humanity and empathy.
  • The important public voice of business and its position at the decision-making table vest the private sector with a specific role and responsibility to stand up for the human rights of migrants and inclusive societies. Leveraging this role can ultimately have a powerful impact on ensuring that our societies reject narratives of exclusion and discrimination.
  • Strong voices are needed, followed-up by actions that reflect the commitment and importance of the issues at stake. These can include:
    • Through initiating or joining and funding local campaigns and standing up publicly for the rights and dignity of all migrants;
    • By adopting a strong inward and outward-facing company policy against discrimination, xenophobia and racism and in support of diversity and inclusion, and rigorously adhering to national anti-discrimination laws;
    • Through implementing branding, advertising and lobbying strategies that promote diversity and inclusion;
    • By increasing and promoting diversity in the workplace and adopting a robust zero-tolerance policy against racism, xenophobia and discrimination;
    • And finally, by encouraging each other to take responsibility and stand up for migrants’ human rights, diversity and inclusion.